CEC refuses to believe computerised pahanis

CEC refuses to believe computerised pahanis

SC-appointed panel begins Ramgad visit for field assessment

 REALITY CHECK: Central Empowered Committee members verify land records in Ramgad, Bellary district, on Saturday. dh PhotoThe three-member CEC led by chairman P V Jayakrishnan arrived in Hospet on Saturday afternoon, and was quick to business with a field visit at Bellary. Accompanying the CEC was a cavalcade of officials from the Mines and Forest departments, along with Bellary Deputy Commissioner Amlan Aditya Biswas.

Ramgad has been in the news recently after it emerged that the State government has denotified 265 acres of forest land, on the basis of false records to favour mining firms. The CEC is in Ramgad to look into the validity of the denotification and the extent of illegal mining in the forest area.

“We have no faith in computerised RTCs (Right Transfer Certificates). Furnish us the handwritten revenue records prepared by village accountants 20 years ago” member secretary M K Jiwrajka told deputy commissioner. He also sought to know whether the area had been surveyed and wanted to question the surveyor. However, the surveyor was not present at the spot. The DC was taken aback to know that the orders to cancel entries in the RTCs had not been complied with. He directed the tahsildar to annul the entries forthwith.

English translations sought

The CEC visited the lease areas of Sparkline Mining Corporation, Adarsh Enterprises, and a few other companies. The Committee directed the officers to furnish revenue documents of 20 years along with English translations wherever necessary.

The petitioner  - Samaja Parivarthana Samudaya - represented by S R Hiremath and Vishnu Kamath, were also present at Ramgad. Hiremath, speaking to the media, said,
“The order of the Forest Settlement Officer (FSO) in 2010 excluding 265 acres of forest land from the reserved forest is clearly illegal. We want the order to be reversed, and appropriate action to be taken.”

It has also emerged that the Mines and Geology department has filed cases in the Sandur Judicial First Class Magistrate Court against three leaseholders for illegal mining.
The CEC will visit a few more mines on Sunday, and will meet members of the public at Hospet at 3 pm.

On Monday, it will hold another meeting with the Chief Secretary and other officers of Forest, Commerce and Industries, and Mines and Geology departments. Supreme Court has asked the Committee to submit its report within six weeks.